Cascades Announces Record Sales and Adjusted OIBD for the Second Quarter of 2019; Quarterly Dividend Increased from $0.04 to $0.08 Per Share

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KINGSEY FALLS, QC , Aug. 9, 2019 - Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS) reports its unaudited financial results for the three-month period ended June 30, 2019 .

Q2 2019 Highlights

  • Sales of $1,275 million
    (compared to $1,230 million in Q1 2019 (+4%) and $1,180 million in Q2 2018 (+8%))
  • As reported (including specific items)
    • Operating income of $82 million
      (compared to $72 million in Q1 2019 (+14%) and $73 million in Q2 2018 (+12%))
    • Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBD) 1 of $154 million
      (compared to $139 million in Q1 2019 (+11%) and $131 million in Q2 2018 (+18%))
    • Net earnings per share of $0.33
      (compared to $0.26 in Q1 2019 and $0.28 in Q2 2018)
  • Adjusted (excluding specific items) 1
    • Operating income of $84 million
      (compared to $68 million in Q1 2019 (+24%) and $76 million in Q2 2018 (+11%))
    • OIBD of $156 million
      (compared to $135 million in Q1 2019 (+16%) and $134 million in Q2 2018 (+16%))
    • Net earnings per share of $0.28
      (compared to $0.14 in Q1 2019 and $0.30 in Q2 2018)
  • Net debt 1 of $1,861 million as at June 30, 2019 (compared to $1,878 million as at March 31, 2019 ) and net debt to adjusted OIBD ratio 1 at 3.3x on a pro-forma basis 2 .

1 For further details, please refer to the "Supplemental Information on non-IFRS Measures" section.
2 Pro-forma basis to include 2018 business combinations on a LTM basis and IFRS 16 Leases impact on an annualized basis as at June 30, 2019.

Mr. Mario Plourde , President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "Cascades delivered record quarterly sales and adjusted OIBD that were in line with expectations in the second quarter. All our segments executed well. Tissue results were supported by favourable input costs and selling prices and better operational performance, notably at the St. Helens mill in Oregon , Containerboard Packaging performance reflected lower OCC prices and good operational flexibility within a context of softer demand and pricing pressure, while European Boxboard and Specialty Products results benefited from recent business acquisitions.

On the strategic front, we announced the acquisition of substantially all of the Orchids Paper Products assets in early July. This move provides compelling optimization opportunities for our Tissue platform while reinforcing the operational foundation of this segment's U.S. consumer product business. Furthermore, the addition of these assets accelerates our ongoing Tissue modernization plan, is aligned with our efforts to enhance the quality of the products we manufacture, and reinforces our initiatives to support the growth of our customers and the segment. On the Containerboard side, analysis of the Bear Island conversion project in Virginia is advancing, with added time being taken to determine the optimal structure to successfully execute the project and to minimize risk. We expect to provide additional information by the end of the year.

Finally, we are pleased to announce that we are increasing our quarterly dividend from $0.04 to $0.08 per share. This step reflects our strong asset base and financial fundamentals. We continue to prioritize capital investments and debt reduction in our capital allocation, and believe that this dividend increase, amounting to approximately $15 million annually, will not impact our financial flexibility to continue to focus on these priorities for creation of shareholder value. At the same time, we will provide our shareholders with a higher cash return on their investment that is better aligned with the industry."

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Source: Cascades

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